Can curry improve you memory?

A recent study by Swinburne University of Technology has found that a spice extract commonly found in curries could be linked to remarkable improvements in levels of fatigue and memory.

Professor Andrew Scholey and PhD student Katherine Cox tested curcumin (a spice extract found in turmeric), in order to further investigate past research which suggested that a curry-rich diet may improve cognitive function, and lower the risk of dementia.

Early investigations suggested that curcumin might be the elementary factor responsible for improved cognitive effect. After preclinical animal studies, the researchers examined the effects of curcumin on cognitive function and mood, in a trial consisting of 60 healthy adults aged 60–85.

Participants demonstrated substantial improvements in concentration levels, but what really surprised researcher Katherine Cox was that “the chronic effect of curcumin was associated with significantly lower levels of fatigue, compared with the placebo group”.

According to Ms Cox, “Fatigue in the elderly is quite important for health and psychological reasons and interventions such as curcumin that can decrease levels of fatigue may have the potential to reduce vulnerability to depression and anxiety disorders,” said Ms Cox.

This research highlights the need for further investigation of the potential psychological benefits of curcumin in older people. So, if you can’t remember the last time you ate a good curry, maybe you should put it on the menu tonight.

For more information, visit

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.